Like rainbows, pink rain lilies provide a colorful treat after rainstorms. These little bulbs produce attractive clumps of narrow, grasslike foliage. But it’s the sudden appearance of their six-petaled, cotton candy pink flowers throughout mid and late summer—often within a few days of a good rain—that makes pink rain lilies such a delight. Though outdoor-hardy only in the warmest zones, gardeners in any zone can enjoy pink rain lilies as container plants. Place pots full of bulbs on decks or porches, or tuck them into garden beds and enjoy the post-rain show. Before frost, bring pots indoors and store in a cool, dry place over winter.
Common name: Pink rain lily or pink zephyr lily
Botanical name: Zephyranthes grandiflora
Plant type: Bulb
Zones: 8 to 11
Height: 8 to 12 inches
• Sun: Full sun or light, dappled shade
• Soil: Well-drained loam or sandy loam
• Moisture: Even moisture in summer, dry in winter
• Mulch: None
• Pruning: None
• Fertilizer: Light applications of soluble fertilizer during the growing season
• Separate and replant side bulblets
Pests and diseases
• In the middle of a drought? Don’t worry, rain lilies will bloom with watering from a hose as well as from rain.
• In warmer zones, plant rain lilies directly in the ground in small groups or, for real drama, in big masses.
All in the family
• Pink rain lily is a member of the amaryllis family (Amaryllidaceae), a large group of bulbs and herbaceous plants.
• Other garden bulbs and houseplants in the amaryllis family include narcissus, amaryllis (Hippeastrum), snowdrops (Galanthus), and clivia.
Where to buy
• Lazy S’s Farm Nursery, Barboursville, VA; 304-497-2208; www.lazyssfarm.com/storefront.htm
• Plant Delights Nursery; Raleigh, NC; 919-772-4794; www.plantdelights.com
• Old House Gardens, Ann Arbor MI; 734-995-1486; http://oldhousegardens.com